Sunny days are coming, so for your spring holidays you can try our itinerary along the hills of Siena and amaze yourselves thanks to the landscape and the enchanting towns which we discovered. This area is called Montagnola Senese and includes Siena, Monteriggioni, Casole d’Elsa and Sovicille; here you can walk through copse woods, where there are holm oak, maple and chestnut, while in the underbrush there are juniper, honeysuckle and holly, a very peculiar territory in Tuscany.
Our route starts from Sovicille, whose name derives from Latin “Soavis locus ille” (That is a pleasing place), a town founded around 1000 AD, where to visit the Romanesque parish church of San Giovanni Battista in Molli, one of the highest points of Montagnola, where there is the source of river Elsa.
The parish church dates back to XI century but it was rebuilt later, a bell tower is put beside the church and during the past had a defensive function. In Sovicille, furthermore, the Mercatale takes place every third saturday of the month at piazza Marconi, a market dedicated to Senese genuine food, a chance to taste only the top products. The Montagnola is also a land of castles, in fact we suggest you to continue the tour at the castle of Montarrenti, built in the VIII century and very important because here there were some silver mines. Now there are two towers with Gothic style windows and the rests of the city walls, and the Astronomical Observatory of the Province, which is open to the public only by reservation.
If you follow the Rosia creek, on the left you can admire the Ponte della Pia, a famous bridge because of the legend which tells that the ghost of Pia dei Tolomei appears to show her sorrow and her pain of love. The next stage is at a castle completely surrounded by the greenery, one of its kind: the Castiglion Blazetti, also known as Castiglion che Dio sol sa, is located at natural reserve of Alto Merse and is isolated from the town. The central part was restored but today this fortress has lost his majesty after the fall of Repubblica Senese.
You can also visit by reservation the castle of Celsa, where there are also an Italian garden and the Chapel of Peruzzi, which has a Renaissance style, a peaceful venue where to relax yourselves and admire the enchanting set of Senese hills. Take advantage of sunny days and discover Montagnola, this area keeps many amazing treasures.